Judged by a new survey from the National Institute of Public Health, the number of public sector workers on pills has shot up to over 40 percent over the past few years.
The survey, conducted using responses from members of the Danish Union of Public Employees (FOA) – the third largest union in Denmark – showed that the number of public workers on prescribed medication has increased from 28.5 percent to 41.8 percent over the last seven years.
The results also revealed that more are taking medication against muscle and ligament pain, and FOA head Mona Striib described the development as being frightening, albeit unsurprising.
“This is the result of several years of austerity that has influenced the labour environment. We need to take it more seriously,” Striib told Fagbladet FOA.
“We must establish a working environment where people can last, without wearing out or sustaining injuries that require painkillers to get through the work day.”
Some kind of help coming
The employment minister, Peter Hummelgaard, stated that the government was prepared to act in a bid to improve the labour environment of the public sector.
However, he couldn’t say when or how much funding would be set aside for the issue during the forthcoming municipal budget negotiations.